St Kilda have vowed to draft at least one VFL-listed player out of the Sandringham Zebras each year from 2024 as part of a new agreement between the two clubs that looks to strengthen their affiliation.

The Saints and Zebras have been affiliated since 2008 after the former parted ways with the Casey Scorpions in favour of Sandringham.

Non-selected AFL players have featured for the Zebras since, with the two Bayside clubs sharing talent through the VFL pathway.

In a bid to place further focus on the development at the state league level, the club confirmed on Thursday that one rookie list position will be used to draft a Sandringham player from next year.

The Saints will also have selected Sandringham players involved in their AFL training program both before and during the season, while Sandringham coaches will also work with the St Kilda coaching staff.

“The relationship we have with Sandringham Football Club is one we are immensely pleased to deepen moving forward,” St Kilda football boss David Misson said in a club statement.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 24: Olli Hotton of Sandringham celebrates a goal during the round 14 VFL match between Sandringham and Brisbane Lions at Trevor Barker Beach Oval on June 24, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

“St Kilda and Sandringham have been closely linked in an official capacity for 15 years now. Many of our club's greatest players in Trevor Barker, Ian Cooper, Bob Murray and Jeff Sarau have been involved with the yellow, black and blue, and we hope to see more of today's names become synonymous with both clubs.

"We are excited at what the new and emerging opportunities we have will bring and hope that as a result, both St Kilda and Sandringham will be strengthened in multiple means."

Second-year Zebra Darby Hipwell took out the 2023 Neil Bencraft Award as the club's best and fairest following a strong season under coach Jake Batchelor, finishing ahead of AFL-listed ruckman Tom Campbell and former Essendon forward Noah Gown.

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Sandringham CEO Marcus Ashcroft said the club is "grateful" for the stronger connection the Zebras now have with St Kilda.

“The Sandringham Football Club is grateful for the opportunities our strong integration with the St Kilda Football Club is going to provide,” Ashcroft said.

“There is a genuine AFL pathway providing many elite initiatives for our VFL program.

“We appreciate the support and value our close relationship with the St Kilda Football Club and we really look forward to our 2024 season.”

Sandringham won five of their 18 games this year, finishing in 16th place.